THE BALLAD OF THE IRON MOUNTAIN BABY

Hear "The Iron Mountain Baby" song at The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection site.

I have a song I'd like to sing
It's awful but it's true
About a baby, thrown from a train
By a woman, I know not who


Th train was running at full speed
T'was northbound number nine
An' as it crossed th rivers bridge
She cast it from the door


A Mother unkind, a Father untrue
And yet, I'm bound to say
It must have grieved that Mothers heart
To cast her baby away


The leaves in which this baby was found
Was fourteen inches long
Five inches wide, six inches deep
An', O, so closely bound

It was Bill Williams who found this babe
He heard its helpless cry
He took it to his loving wife
She would not let it die


She bathed and washed its little head
An' soon, it hushed its cry
God bless them both while they live
God bless them when they die


We'll name him William Roscoe
Because he has no name
Then, if he grows to be a man
He'll wear it just th same


This ends my song, my story I've told
I'll say, goodbye to all
Until we meet around the throne
In that bright world above all


 

Dear Mrs. Carroll,  I'm writing to say that I really like you and your husbands web site, exploring in rich detail the varied history of Washington County (my mother's family is from there), I've only just started exploring it's nooks and crannies.  But I did want to point out a mistake or rather omission in your article on the Iron Mountain Baby, the song was recorded by Johnny Ryan (and other artists have recorded versions of it), but it was written by my great, great-grandfather the Rev. John T. Barton, who also wrote other songs and poems, though as far as I know The Iron Mountain Baby is the only one to have ever been recorded.  This is on my dads side of the family the Ratliffs, Blacks, and Bartons all of whom are from Reynolds Co., Missouri.  Thank's again for the fine website.      Sincerely,  Rich Ratliff